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Jon Adams' blog - disability arts online
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Disability Arts Online

Jon Adams: Someone’s had all the flippin mints - part five of five / 17 January 2011

Another trip to London - this time to the ‘Our view’ presentations that Accentuate had arranged at Channel 4. A seemingly simple trip, just a train and a short walk then the bus almost to the door. Good start to the day... the train was packed but was a better type of carriage with less crammed seats and more leg room. Earlier I had been woken by the driving rain on the bathroom window and lay awake wondering how much was coming though into the very ropey conservatory.

I wasn’t overly compelled to get out of bed to check, as every minute was precious. Compelled I looked through the rear bedroom window and a quick survey revealed the fence down a few doors up, commuters with un-mendable umbrellas in the station forecourt and our ‘7 year old ‘Cornish’ flag torn to tatters at the top of the washing line pole. Winter was apparently here!

The train wasn’t too bad and as we passed over the tide full ‘moat’ that isolates Portsea Island. I cocooned myself with ‘music’ and worked on the days presentation. I knew what I wanted to say but the order was another matter. I had this nailed by Guildford and day dreamed the rest of the way trying to ignore my next door neighbour’s aftershave – a cheap shade of blue. The rain had stopped by the time we pulled in. I exited last as I always wait till the carriage empties before I get up in case I look awkward as I stand.

Luckily the bus was empty and after a brief tour past Westminster and Lambeth Palace we crossed the Thames and started down Horseferry Rd. As we passed a few government buildings I had visions of people enacting cuts with giant scissors! Perverse reverse ‘opening’ ceremonies...

The Channel Four building was quite an eyeful. The huge steel logo, in parts, out front, demanded and deserved to be looked at in line of sight - just like the broadcast versions - dys-align, align, then dys-align again.

As I was early I waited in the foyer with just enough time to take in its construction, check out the canteen for ‘famous faces’ and note the lack of subvertable plant pots. The lifts were those ‘outside’ full glass types but not high enough to raise too much concern and I was soon in the thankfully grey meeting room (complete with a picture of Jamie Oliver plus inspiring chicken.)

After a while, familiar faces and guests started arriving and as this was to be the first time many of the people had been in the same place at the same time it made some of the Accentuate aspirations‘ almost tangible’. The day was involved, complex and experienced with 3 or more hats on.

There were some good moments and some not so... but on the whole it was very positive and affirming. One thing in particular... people still tend to see the imagined ‘gulf’ between sports (medical model) and arts (social model) as two ends of a single linear line. But what happens if we see - like ‘theoretical cosmologists’ see time and space - and bend that linearity into a torque? The ends can come together. They are closer than you think. You can apply this to other quandaries eg. mainstream versus non mainstream.

Afterwards, In the quiet, when there are only four of us left - and after ‘leaving’ a small vinyl piece of work I remember my role as ‘Accentuate Geologist and collector’ and fill my pocket with some of the detritus left on the table. Today’s collection: 24 cocktail stick,19 wooden – turned and decorated, 5 plastic shards, imitation lead foil, corks and wire frames

Tonight I will drift asleep attempting to turn these and the comments/ drawings, recording the conversations held into a representation on the ‘look about’ map... maybe evidence of a volcano intruding and cutting through the layers previously completed and starting something new?